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Books Protection Dog Training Der Schutzhund (The Protection Dog)
Der Schutzhund (The Protection Dog)
Based on 2 reviews

Der Schutzhund (The Protection Dog)

Based on 2 reviews
  • By Helmut Raiser, translated by Armin Winkler
  • Paperback
  • 88 pages

The most comprehensive book ever written about drive manipulation and development for protection work. A must-read for every helper and decoy and a great way to learn about dog bite work. The concepts in this book apply to all types of protection work: Schutzhund, Ring Sport, KNVP, Police, etc.

"Don't think that this book is only for sport trainers, everyone who is involved in training protection work should read it!"

- Cpl. Dean Anderson, former Delaware State Police K9 handler


The secret to education and training lies in the proper recognition and utilization of the already present drives.

One can skim over these words written by the father of the German Shepherd breed, however, one can also think about them for awhile. His words are almost scornful and in my opinion still hold true today: "Not everybody has what it takes to be a teacher, fewer still have what it takes to be a trainer. And if even today we still have a relatively small number of dogs which work reliably in all disciplines, then it is not due to a lack of ability in the dogs to accomplish the tasks asked of them, but more so due to the inability of the handlers: the service dog question, meaning the question regarding the successful use of dogs in the service of man, all types of service not just as a scent dog gathering evidence, is, as mentioned earlier more a question of handler quality, that it is one of dog quality."

If I may presume to add to these great words, then I would say, fewer people still have what it takes to be a helper (agitator) than have what it takes to be a trainer. So it is no wonder that in protection service we only have " a relatively small number of dogs which work reliably", since the helper is the person primarily responsible for the dog's development in protection work. If one considers the fact that in most cases any willing volunteer will wear the protection equipment, usually the strongest or the one with the least fear, then the above statement isn't surprising, what is surprising is that dogs bite at all. This is probably because "the urge to ' save face' is not an exclusively human emotion, but one that lies deep within the instinctive layers of the soul, in which all higher animals are very closely related to us." (Lorenz)

A helper must be able to do more than fight, it is much more important for example that is able to be defeated. Most of all he must know which inborn drives he can utilize to turn the dog into a protection dog. I would like to stress at this point that theoretical knowledge alone is not enough to be a good helper. Helmut Raiser deals with the training of working dogs in protection work in his well illustrated book (159 photographs), he gives equal consideration to the duties of handler, dog and helper.

In part one, the theoretical part, prey-, defense-, aggression-, and fighting drive, the innate drives of a dog, which are used in the training of protection work, are discussed. Part one goes on to explain basic ethnological terms and laws, such as: instinctive action, trigger stimulus, drive goal, Leerlauf (idle motion) reaction, conflict behavior, stimulus summation, action-specific and stimuli-specific exhaustion. In conclusion, classical and instrumental conditioning are shown as the typical methods through which dogs learn. In part two, the purely practical part. Raiser gives methodical instruction on how to develop and train dogs in protection work. Whether it is prey-drive or defense-drive development, the hold and bark, the out exercise, or the blind search, methodically and technically correct helper work is always important. 29 briefly but informatively captioned pictures sequences, with between three and ten photographs, taken in succession in extremely short intervals, clearly demonstrate how handler, dog, and helper have to work together in the different exercises.

Table of Contents

Part One

  • Inborn Drives Necessary for Protection Work
    • The Prey Drive
    • The Defense Drive and Avoidance Behavior
      • The Defense Drive
      • Avoidance Behavior
      • Threatening and Other Trigger Stimuli for Defense Behavior
      • Directing Defense and Avoidance Behavior
      • Critical Distance, Flight Distance, and Individual Distance
    • The Aggression Drive
    • The Fighting Drive
  • Basic Concepts and Laws of Ethnology
    • Appetence, Trigger Stimuli, Instinctive Action, Ultimate Action, and the Drive Goal
    • Leerlauf (Idle-Motion) Reaction and Gesture of Intent
    • Conflict Behavior
    • Stimulus Summation
    • Action-specific and Stimulus-specific Exhaustion
  • Laws of Learning for Dogs
    • Classical Conditioning
    • Instrumental Conditioning

Part Two

  • Prey Drive Promotion
    • Creating Motivation through Stimulation and Challenging
    • The First Bite
    • The Transfer onto the Sleeve
    • The Attack
    • Teaching the Dog to Fight ("Shaking Prey to Death")
    • The Goal of Prey Drive Promotion
  • Defense Drive Promotion
    • Raising Psychological Stress by Challenging for the Prey and by Exploiting Insecurities
    • Defending Against the Helper
      • Threatening Dog and Handler
      • Threatening the Back-tied Dog on his Own
      • Countering Defense Behavior or Attacking the Dog
    • Channeling Defense Behavior into Prey Drive
  • Training
    • The Hold and Bark
      • Blocking Access with the Leash
      • Blocking Access through the Helper
      • Letting the Dog Break through
      • Fending off
      • Reducing Aids and Practicing Additional Difficulties
    • The "OUT"- Exercise
      • Outing the Dead Prey
      • In the Blind on Leash
      • In the Blind off Leash
      • Without Back Cover
    • The Blind Search
      • Directing Focus to the Blind
      • Instilling Confidence, until the Dog Searches Swiftly
      • Training the Call-back
      • The Forced Blind Search
Bought this product?

This one of the best book to study and start with protection work with dogs. I really recommend this book.

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I have just finished reading this book for the second time. I just recieved it last week. It was excellent. I have been in the sport for over 15 years and I consider myself fairly knowledgeable. This book reinforced many of my beliefs. But it also has made certain aspects of protection work much clearer to me. As I was reading it, I would have flashbacks to training sessions and think, "so that was why this or that was done." I am not a helper, just a trainer, but I would highly reccomend that anyone serious in the sport read this book, especially helpers.

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